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Sep 15, 2013 15.09.13 22:31 Age: 7 yrs

New Anti-Bullying Procedures Step in the Right Direction

The new Anti-Bullying Procedures for primary and secondary schools have been welcomed by NABC (National Anti-Bullying Coalition) director Monica Monahan.

"This a huge step forward and deserves recognition. It is clear that the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn and his department officials have taken on board the advice of all stakeholders. This is the progress we hoped for when, on our recommendation, Minister Quinn hosted an Anti-Bullying Forum last year."

"They have clearly reviewed evidence based strategies and models of best practice for intervention. The annual review and climate testing surveys within the school setting will be crucial in evaluating whether or not their chosen prevention and awareness strategies are effective in reducing these levels. Data collection is central to all of this. Today there is great hope."

"There are three further essential steps, which need to be taken:

(i) Creation of an National Anti-Bullying Support Team that will visit schools to give training and advise on best practice. Focus must be given to positive school climates and attention to Teacher to Teacher positive relationships and Teacher to pupil relationships. No area where there is potential for bullying relationships to develop should be overlooked.

(ii) Specific expert support is needed from external teams to create an awareness and understanding of the multi levelled potential for bullying behaviours, how this toxifies school climates and the different ways of addressing this. Within the remit of this Support Team should be the creation of clinical supervision for school based anti-bullying teams and individual teachers who deal specifically with bullying behaviours.

"iii) It is absolutely vital that specific training is given to Board of Managements. They are central to the new guidelines and need to be up-skilled in anti-bullying practice to be able to oversee the implementation of what the Minister is recommending.

It would be a shame if the progress made so far were to stall now. The NABC will be engaging with the ministers advisors and department officials shortly with a view to supporting the implementation of these guidelines"

The newly issued procedures are available on this site; follow this link.

Monica Monahan can be contacted at 087 2694369

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